Alt image
St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | wedding
-1
archive,paged,tag,tag-wedding,tag-1117,paged-2,tag-paged-2,edgt-core-1.2.1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,hudson-ver-3.2.1, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,hide_inital_sticky,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.5.0,vc_responsive

Event Vision: Coney Island-Carnival Wedding Cocktail Hour

vintage coney island carnival wedding ideas

I just lurv a Coney Island/Carnival inspired party.  There is something that is so nostalgic and fun about these types of parties and weddings that make it turn into an experience instead of just a party.  That’s why I’m not just going to give you eye candy, I am going to tell you the story behind this event vision.  Even if you are not 100% sold on doing an entire wedding based on this theme—it can be great for a cocktail hour or final hour of your wedding—or even an after party!

Food

Carnival food should be part of the food pyramid.  Pretty much convinced of that—but since it’s not, here is a fun way to bring back your favorites in a glammed up version  for your wedding guests.

cotton candy martha stewart wedding favor food funnelcake-dineanddishnetgrp_edr_mini_franks_sz2-yum sugar

Cotton candy, funnel cake and hot dogs make great treats to pass around as your party winds up or winds down.  The cotton candy from Martha Stewart, is colorful but packs much flavor.  Mini funnel cakes or even a funnel cake bar with various toppings (whipped cream, ice cream, fruit and gourmet sugar toppings) can be fun and cure any sweet tooth ailment (or cause one!).  These mini hot dogs from Yum Sugar can be paired with gourmet sauces like chipotle ketchup or honey dijon mustard.

french fry shooter hors d'oeuvres bridescafe french fries in holder with newspaper

What’s a carnival with out french fries? A travesty!  The first picture from The Bride’s Cafe is an upscale display of french fry shooters, which I adore.  Nevertheless, I am still captivated by this vintage version I found over at The Cinderella Project.  The only thing that would top it would be to personalize the paper that comes with the fries—shoot for making your own personalized newspaper with your names and life events for a realistic, personal touch.

Popcorn Bar at Wedding

Ever since I spoke at the Eventology conference this year, I have become obsessed with Garrett’s Popcorn (Thank YOU, Katasha!).  And nothing could soothe your soul more, end world hunger and solve the health care reform debate than a popcorn bar with Garrett’s.  There are other companies that provide a myriad of flavors and seasonings, but if you want to stay true to your carnival theme, opt for caramel and butter only served troughs—I mean decorative vases and containers.

Snow cones by Fresher than Fresh

Another favorite?  Snow Cones.  But not just your run-of-the-mill snow cones, I’m talking about Fresher Than Fresh snow cones.  Made with natural flavors and fruits, they are sure to be a hit.  Featured above are clementine, blackberry lavender, agave hibiscus, lemon prickly pear, and ginger rose!

Drinks

Drinks can be made just as much fun as the food!  In addition to your regular bar, add some fun like these mini root beer floats found on the San Diego Food Stuff blog :

Mini root beer float shooters

Of course, what would this party be without a signature drink?

caramel apple martini-thegoodlifeinthecity

Check out these caramel apple martinis by Good Life in the City.  Perfect mix of tart and sweet, as well as reminiscent of the all-time carnival favorite.  FYI, traditional candy apple mix makes a great candy apple martini as well.  Here is the recipe for the caramel apple martini:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add ½oz vodka, ½oz Sourz apple liqueur and ½oz butter ripple schnapps. Shake and strain into a Martini glass rimmed with caramel syrup.

Okay, luxelings—we’ve talked food and drink;  stay tuned as we start incorporating other fun details!

Southern Food for Your Wedding

When brides come here to Coastal Georgia for their destination weddings, they are looking to incorporate some of the Southern beauty into their event vision.  Extending that vision to your menu is no different.  You can add special twists to your menu while enhancing the charm of southern fare.

 

Many couples choose to treat their guests to very elaborate meals to reflect their celebration.  One of the biggest staples in southern food is fried chicken, which can be done elegantly and uniquely for an unforgettable experience for your palate.  While most guests don’t expect to eat with their hands at weddings, this Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken by chef Thomas Keller  of Ad Hoc sounds delectable and well worth it!  The chef said that they only did friend chicken twice a month (every other Monday), but have now increased the frequency and expanded the menu due to the demand.  For those  looking for the real “down home taste”, opt for the buttermilk fried chicken recipe by Emeril.   If you’re looking for an intimate and engaging style reception, as your caterer or venue to provide the food in “family style service”.  Your servers will provide platters for each table of food, of which guests make their own plates and pass to each other.  It is similar to a buffet, since the caterer will keep the platters full, but guests aren’t forced to leave their table.  The key to serving something so simple is to amp up its presentation and taste.  With chefs Emeril and Keller’s recipes, we’ve got taste covered.  When served family style, look for platters, bowls, and other service items that are reflective of event vision.

photo by Jennie Chen

Here in the Golden Isles, every year we have the Shrimp and Grits festival on Jekyll Island with chef demonstrations, concerts and so much more.  So needless to say, Shrimp and Grits are big in southern coastal cuisine.  There are several great recipes like this one by Tyler Florence and or this one by chef Eric Kelly.  With the many variations and serving styles (i.e., as a shooter, amuse bouche, or as a side or entree), the possibilities are endless.

 

Instead of rolls, opt for the Southern foodie favorite:  cornbread!  Cornbread can appeal to so many of your guests with variations of recipes like Paula Deen’s Vidalia Cornbread (seen above), Emeril’s Cast Iron Honey Cornbread, or this amazing recipe for jalapeno cornbread.  Can’t make a decision?  Offer them all!

 

Being an avid John Grisham fan, I distinctly remember reading about his protagonist in A Time to Kill eating fried dill pickles (seen above)  and I thought, “gross”!  A few days later I went to the House of Blues in L.A. with my family and tried some. Pure Heaven.  Since we don’t eat a lot of fried foods, these are some of the few things I will occasionally prepare.  Looking for something a bit more healthy?  Try Joe Vitale’s Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon Vinaigrette and Warm Frisée.  Both would make for great food at your cocktail hour along with these Southern Cocktails.

There are so many other great ideas out there, by some of your favorite well known chefs like Louis Osteen’s Charleston Cuisine, Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics: The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons, Too!,  Patti LaBelle’s LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About is phenomenal.  Her Over the Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese is the TRUTH.  We’re talking real mac and cheese, honey—the kind hat is not fixed in a pot but comes out of the oven.  And don’t forget Emeril’s Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude.  These are just a few ideas to get you started.  Be reflective of your area—serve up local hot sauces and seasonings like Maryland’s Old Bay with your food, or garnishes, preserves, and drinks from the local area.  Food can inspire so much for the rest of your event vision, so go with what you love.

Overheard At Your Wedding “I Hate the Head Table”

 

 

It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your head table or wedding is, as seen above, you risk isolating many of your guests and close friends by obligating them to a head table.  I am so happy when I see couples opt out of the antiquated tradition, and look to sweetheart tables instead.  At a recent wedding,  I was pulled aside by a guest who asked to speak with me about the seating arrangements.  The first words out of her mouth were, “I hate the head table”.  As we talked more, I learned that she was the fiancée of one of the groomsmen, and she was seated at a table far from him with a group of gentleman that she didn’t know. “It was so uncomfortable”, she said.  “They all knew each other, but I knew no one there”.  Her fiancé later joined the conversation and agreed that he, too, felt bad that she was alone and he couldn’t be with her.  I was given specific instructions to tell all my brides to “ditch the head table”. 

No one likes to fee that way—isolated, uncomfortable and far from those that you have a connection with or know.  This is what you risk doing with a head table, as well as a “bridesmaids’/groomsmen’s” table.  Your bridal party will have been together all day with getting dressed, as well as extended pictures before and after the ceremony.  Is there really need to have them away from their significant others an additional hour during dinner?

Of course, ultimately my suggestion would be to avoid the head table altogether and have a gorgeous sweetheart table that you can embellish and adorn for you and your new Mr.  Just like your bridal party needs this time to “come down” and reunite with their wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and children—you will need this time, too.  The rest of your evening, albeit fun, will be filled with structure and activities.  Having a semi-intimate dinner with your new spouse will allow you a private moment to take it all in and slow down to get a bite to eat.

If you are absolutely dead-set on having a head table, then you need to include the significant others of the bridal party at the table. This, in turn will make your head table larger and possibly distort your optimal design for your reception.  You could opt for separate bridesmaids?? and groomsmen’s tables, but again—be sure to include their significant others. 

 

Remember, your wedding is a celebration of your day, but should not be a sore note for your guests and bridal party.

 

Photo :: Michael Steighner

How to Avoid Murder Charges at Your Wedding Rehearsal

…Or “Tips for  a Successful Wedding Rehearsal”

Planning your wedding with its intricate details can all be for naught if it falls to pieces when being run through your “dry run”.  Your wedding rehearsal allows you to get yourself, bridal party and necessary vendors acquainted with what you plan to do for your wedding.  At the worst of times however, a wedding rehearsal can be stressful for some brides and  like herding cats. 

Even if you are working with a wedding planner, here are some tips that will make your wedding rehearsal run smoothly and efficiently:

Tell your participants to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the “real” start time. Depending on the complexity of your ceremony and size of your bridal party, your rehearsal should last anywhere between 30-60 minutes.  Nothing is worse than being in the middle of the rehearsal, and finding out that your bridesmaid isn’t there.  Give yourself some cushion time so that even if people arrive late, they are still on time to get the rehearsal started.

If possible, rehearse where your wedding will be. If your wedding is outside, rehearse at the ceremony site.  Only use a second location as your worse case scenario.  If you have to have a backup for your ceremony, make sure everyone knows where it is and if any changes must be made in order to have the ceremony there.

Have everyone that is participating in the ceremony at the rehearsal. This includes all readers, soloists, members of the bridal party, grandparents, etc.  Again, you cannot have a successful rehearsal if people are missing.  Moreover, be sure to walk though with all mothers and grandmothers and their escorts so that they know where to be, walk and sit prior to the ceremony. People will be able to confidently perform their duties when they’ve had an opportunity to practice them first.

Have a partial setup for prosperity.  If you are having large arrangements, tables for a unity ceremony as well as seating.  If you have a special entrance, rituals or layout, it is much more helpful to have some of these items in place to assist for good practice.

Meet your bridal party the night before or earlier in the day before the rehearsal.  Also, do not invite non-participants to the rehearsal.  This is another way that your rehearsal can double in time.  People will want to meet and greet, reunite and hang out at the rehearsal.  Because everyone is so excited and being social, it is much harder to get everyone to do what they are supposed to.  Meeting for lunch, tea, beer, or whatever, helps everyone to come ready to rehearse and comfortable with the rest of the bridal party.  Likewise, avoid having non-participants congregating at the rehearsal for similar reasons.  They will want pictures, hugs, and conversations and while this is fine, it is not the place for the rehearsal.  Ultimately, it could cause you to run over your time at the rehearsal and into your time for the rehearsal dinner. 

 

All of these tips will help you have a successful rehearsal and avoid the many pitfalls and time wasting activities that can draw out the process. 

I Want A Wedding Like…Roselyn Sánchez

 

image

Without a Trace star Roselyn Sánchez married last November in a beautifully intimate wedding ceremony and reception that was bursting with color and details.   Her Old World style was reflected in everything from her lush flowers, romantic wedding gown, and so much more. 

 

What she did…

 

castillo de san cristobal wedding ceremony

The Puerto Rican beauty wed in Old San Juan in front of 250 family and friends at Castillo de San Cristóbal. It was an old Spanish Fort built during the colonization of Puerto Rico, so in some areas it is refurbished and in others you can tell that it is a part of the Puerto Rican cultural history. Instead of pew markers or a carpet of petals, the aisle was lined with rectangular arrangements of deep orange and antique roses coupled with hydrangea.  This works beautifully since naturally the eye starts at the floor and works its way up.  Roselyn’s elegance in all of it simplicity plays off the colors of the old fort. To play up its colors and texture, gentle uplighting was used at the altar.

What you can do

image  image

 

Find wedding venues in your area that are rich in history like Savannah’s Mansion at Forsyth Park, Brunswick’s Old  City Hall or the gorgeous Mediterranean inspired Ocean Lodge on Saint Simons Island. When your venue has personality, it is much easier to pull from its existing decor and architecture.  While Roselyn’s wedding was outdoors, you can still have the same gorgeous aisle lining arrangements.  You can incorporate your own style by using arrangements on shepherd hooks, columns, or on the ground.  Keeping your colors fluid and design simple to avoid sensory overload.

 

What she did…

image Roselyn’s bouquet was simple, and on the smaller side when compared to other bridal bouquets.  The ivory and white flowers play up the yellow and orange orchids Adding a little more luxe to her flowers, bouquet jewels enhance the elegant set.

What you can do…

image

Opt for a vibrant color as your impact flower—blues, greens, pinks, or reds, whatever your heart fancies!  Your base flowers should be lighter than your impact flower, in varying shades, textures and sizes.  Opt for berries, shells, or jewels to enhance your bouquet.  

What she did…

 

organza and silk pearl beaded wedding dress    image

 

While Roselyn’s organza silk beaded dress by Angel Sanchez was very beautiful, even she admitted it was very heavy and hard for her to walk.  During her reception however, she changed into a shorter but equally fabulous dress. 

 

What you can do…

bcbg max azaria white dress Fringe Mini Dress by La Rok

Look for other dresses that can express your fun, ready-to-party side for you to wear after your first dance like this BCBG MAX AZRIA Laser Cut Sheath Dress or this super fun Fringe Mini Dress by La Rok.

 

Stay tuned for more!

Allison and Charles :: St. Simons Lighthouse Wedding Planner

St. Simons Lighthouse Heritage Center Wedding

 Fourth of July always has a sentimental meaning for me.  It’s the day I had my first date with my husband and it was my original due date for my daughter.  This year, it has a new meaning, as I had the opportunity to spend and share it with Allison and Chuck, who were married on St. Simons Island.  This wedding was so much fun, and even though the growing crowds on the island had the entire vendor team on pins and needles, the wedding went off flawlessly!  Having worked with Allison and her mom all those months was such a joy.  When I finally saw Allison moments before she walked down the aisle, we both broke into the tears and hugged repeatedly.  I still laugh when I think about it; I hear her mother say “Alright, girls. Cut it out”.

St Simons Lighthouse Wedding

To celebrate Chuck’s Scottish heritage, Allison surprised him by having the fabulous bagpiper Jim Sloan perform for the ceremony.  The adorable ringbearer was a doll—he followed (very seriously, I might add) behind the flower girl and tiptoed around her dropped petals, stating he “didn’t want to step on her pretty flowers”…

St. Simons wedding in gazebo at St. Simons LIghthouse

 Allison’s mother was fabulous—she was so creative by making the centerpieces and so many other elements of the wedding.  They coordinated perfectly with the silk and lamour linens in the beach inspired colors of sand, french blue and ivory.  The elevated sweetheart table was draped in both taupe silk and caviar pearl beaded chiffon, which complemented the floating candle and starfish centerpieces.  The casual beach vibe strewn with gerbera daisies and roses was pulled together with the ladies and gents in their wedding attire and flip flops and starfish and sand in the decor—all beside an oceanside setting.  There were so many sweet details:  female guests received beach cookie cutters, while the gentleman received custom golf balls. All guests were treated to guest baskets with items inspired or about St. Simons Island.

Beach inspired shell centerpieces

St Simons Lighthouse Wedding

One thing I loved about the wedding is the laughter.  There were so many great people, reunions and fun moments at the wedding.  Allison and Chuck had a “Second First Dance” song:  Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old With You” (hence the huge laugh on Allison’s face above).  The boots in the earlier picture were from Allison’s dance with her dad—they started out to “Isn’t She Lovely”, which then turned into a rousing rendition of “Cotton Eyed Joe”!

heritage center st simons wedding

I had  such a great time helping to bring together Allison and Chuck’s event vision and working with Allison and her mom.  Now I have another reason to love July 4th.

 

Special thanks to Spencer and Anna Clark for the photos.

We Likey: Canditto

It is no secret that I am a geek. I love gadgets—I just can’t help it.  When I was introduced to Canditto, I was super excited for brides who wanted to get the best, fun and candid moments from their wedding.

So what exactly is Canditto?  Well it is no secret that with the influx of digital cameras (whether they are point and shoots or SLRs), your guests will be on the prowl getting shots of them with you, of you, or of other moments that you may not see through out the course of your day.  While your fabulous wedding photographer (because I know you have chosen a fabulous wedding photographer after taking my impeccable advice) will document your day from their eyes, you also want to see what it is like from the eyes of family and friends.  So now you can see the pictures of your college roommates reuniting and laughing over dinner or your grandmother lovingly holding a newborn family member moments before the prelude.

 

 

Simply plug Canditto into an outlet in a convenient area during your reception, and your guests can slip in their media cards from their digital cameras to download their images of your wedding for you to retrieve later.  You will receive two thumb drives to download all of the images.  What’s great is that Canditto will only download copies of your guests’ cards from the last 8 hours, to ensure that you get the pictures you want. So no more digital cameras on tables with the hopes of catching great pictures.  Speaking of which…

 

Canditto is now having  a fabulous program:  if you bought disposable cameras (see these many reasons as to why disposable cameras will not do your wedding any justice) for your wedding to collect your guests’ pictures, Canditto will buy them back from you when you use their machine and apply it to your rental!

Father’s Day on Your Wedding Day: Father-Daughter Dance Songs

KellieColinWed26

 

Daddy loves you very much.  No two moments encompass all of his emotions greater than when he walks you down the aisle and your dance together during your reception.  With Father’s Day coming up, we’ll share a few songs in case you are looking for something for your father-daughter dance at your wedding.

Heartland’s I Loved Her First

 

Father Daughter Wedding Dance Photo by Scarlett Lillian. 

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit

 The  Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

The Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

 

 

I love going on venue visits with brides and grooms. Even if I have been to a particular wedding ceremony or reception site several times before, it is always great to visit with renewed purpose and see it through their eyes.  When you visit your venue, think of it as visiting a home you and Mr. Fabuluxe are considering purchasing.  You want something that reflects both of you and your lovestory, makes you feel comfortable and is conducive and complementary to your overall event vision.  Just like when buying your home, as soon as your foot crosses the threshold, you should feel like you are “home”.  You should see the two of you cutting the cake in the corner or stealing a kiss by the door.  You should see your dad doing that dance that you wish he wouldn’t on the dance floor.  You should see your best friends marveling at the centerpieces and beautiful decor.

I’m sure that if you have a wedding planner, s/he will attend these visits with you and give you some key things to look out for.  Here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Pay attention to how you are treated…on every level. Your family and friends will visit your venue and come across various members of the site’s staff.  If you are having a destination wedding, this will include hotel front desk staff, too.  In these instances, I would suggest staying at the resort/hotel prior to booking.  Granted, everyone has a bad day—but if you feel neglected, offended, or chastised, it may be time to look for another wedding location.  You will be less apt to forgive these attitudes and affronts your wedding day. 

  2. Pay attention to any odd smells and stains.  I know, strange but true.  If there is a “unique” odor in the venue, it could be for various reasons—the site is old, there is a mold problem, etc.  Be sure to inquire into if it will be fixed (nevermind asking what it is); you are paying to rent the facility and have a right to know.  Look for things that could detract from your wedding like hard water stains on walls or other stains on the carpet/flooring.  Ask if any renovations will occur prior to your wedding;  you may be able to benefit from those new upgrades.

  3. Does the decor make you soar or gives you a sore? In addition to the pictures you see online at the wedding venue’s website, be sure to check other sites like Flickr as well as blogs of photographers and wedding planners in your area.  You will be seeing the venue without any frills—but it will be good for you to get an idea as to what you are walking into as well as how much work you will have to put into your design to make it the way you want.  If the decor is antiquated, ask if you can make any non-permanent changes.  Also, if there are any decorations that you simply adore, ask if they will be in place for your wedding.  This would also be a good time to ask what the venue does anything special around the holidays if you are having a wedding at during a holiday season.

  4. Take your own pictures.  You know what you are going for with your design and it can sometimes be hard to describe in conversation or in emails.  Instead, take your own pictures of your potential venues to review at a later date.   Print your photos at home or send them to a place like Walgreens or Walmart.  One tip:  Print them as 8x10s and have them laminated at Staples or Kinko’s.  With a set of dry erase markers, make notes or preliminary placement designs for your own records.

  5. Know your limitations, restrictions and requirements up front.  It’s the pits finding out things after you’ve signed the dotted line.  The problem is that you may not have known to even ask those questions during your visit.  You will want to know if your vendors are required to have liability insurance in order to work there.  You do not want to run into a problem with booking a vendor only to find they do not have the required paperwork and refuse to get it.  Of course, you should ask about any design limitations and restrictions—which parts of the venue will you have access to? Are you allowed to affix anything by hanging, taping, pinning or stapling?  Can structures be built onsite?  Do they have any exclusive catering or photography rights?  Can you bring your own alcohol?  Are there any structural limitations that you could run into if you want to use a non-standard layout or lighting?  Are there any noise ordinances?  What about rose petals, confetti, rice or sparklers?  Can you have open flames or must you use enclosures?  How early can you set up?  These are all some great questions to get you started.

 

 

We’ll break this post in half, with the other five tips coming next Monday.  In the meantime,  check out 5 Venue Assets that Will Fabuluxe Your Wedding